Atiku Vs Buhari: Respondents Relying On Technicalities To Save Buhari.

Atiku Vs Buhari: Respondents Relying On Technicalities To Save Buhari.

By Tai Emeka Obasi.

When INEC closed its case without tendering any material evidence nor calling any witness, many wondered. Despite the fact that such action evidently connotes public acceptance of guilt, in election petition matters, such move could be very tricky for the petitioners, more so when Yunus Usman, SAN leading the counsel boasted that the petitioners’ 62 witnesses had done enough for their(INEC) defense that their calling witnesses of their own would not only amount to overkill but also wasting valuable Tribunal’s time.

In his own words, mostly tongue-in-cheek, Chief Lateef Fagbemi, SAN, leading the APC team toed same line two days later, even stepping further to thank the Petitioners for providing witnesses that were so magnanimous in providing answers that perfectly did their defense during cross-examination.

Even though Buhari’s team got caught in the web severally by their seven witnesses and actually needed to be congratulated by the Petitioners for winning the case for them, keen followers waited for final addresses to understand exactly how INEC and APC wrapped up their case.

The final address presentations came and it became clear that instead of any magic wand, all three Respondents were united in solely relying on technicalities. Their calls, urging the Tribunal to disregard over 29,000 material exhibits because technical rules were floated by the Petitioners while tendering them through the bar raised eyebrows of neutral observers. More so when the exhibits being so asked for disregard included the President Muhammadu Buhari’s INEC form CF 001 which the Petitioners used to establish Buhari’s certificate claims and which the second Respondents failed woefully to defend in court.

Also the “Allied Forces” were united in calling on the court to disregard the evidences of witnesses PW 59 and PW60. PW 59 was the Kenyan expert witness, who told the court all he needed was a permission from the INEC chairman to go into the contentious server to prove to the world that it belonged to INEC.

When Fagbemi added as part of the reason the Tribunal should throw away the petition “as far away as their muscles could muster” that it was appalling that an election that invloved over 118,000 polling units nationwide that the petitioners were only able to provide 62 witnesses out of which only five worked as polling agents, who gave direct witness account of the so-claimed irregularities while presenting his address, the sarcasm and hypocrisy couldn’t have been more glaring.

The Petitioners had just 10 days to prove their case. With 62 witnesses that was more than six witnesses per day on the average. And a man who didn’t provide a single witness in defense could boldly utter that!

If the word ‘pity’ existed in election matters the Respondents would have been showered with doses of it the way they helplessly clutched at strays in attempts to dislodge a petition many experts had correctly dubbed the mother of all election petitions. But the petitioners shouldn’t be blamed for taking no prisoners while sowing up a petition and evidently proving it against a president overly desperate to continue in office.

From what happened in Osun State, lovers of democracy must rise up in unison to urge the Tribunal justices to discard technicalities and give judgement based on facts and evidences provided in court.

I put it thus…

“To All Tribunal Justices: Nigerians don’t want technical judgements anymore. 

Copy this, or write a similar one on your own, post on your Facebook wall/timeline, tag your friends including me where possible, share in all Whatsapp groups you belong. Post on twitter too.

Do it when you wake up every morning and before you go to bed every night. Within 48 hours, all tribunal justices in Nigeria will read.

That is the power of social media. Apply it this moment it is needed most. It is a duty you owe to democracy. It is a duty you owe to a new Nigeria. This is your chance to add something. Don’t go out to beat up anybody in the streets. Don’t go out demonstrating, hence risking death and injuries via “stray bullets.” Just stay in the comfort of your homes, use your phones and share the message and continue sharing until judgements are all delivered at all tribunals all over the country.

Once more the message to share every day is…

“To All Tribunal Justices: Nigerians don’t want technical judgements anymore. 

God bless you as you continue to share and follow for truly…


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